JOHN Millman says fellow Queenslander Jason Kubler warrants the ATP’s comeback player of the year award for which both were nominated yesterday.
Millman and Kubler both reached career best rankings this month after both needed multiple surgeries and gritty rehabilitation periods to keep their tennis career going.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 11 Kei Nishikori, of Japan, were the other two nominees.
The winner will be decided by a vote of ATP players and announced next month.
Kubler was ranked No. 945 in the world 14 months ago and unsure if he wanted to press on with a tennis career, but now sits at a career high of 91.
“Kei and Novak are incredible athletes and have done such a great job. I have to say though for me there is only one winner,’’ Millman, a two-time nominee for the award, noted on Twitter.
Jason Kubler has an unbelievable comeback story.Source:Getty Images
“Consecutive surgeries, never been inside 100 before, told he couldn’t play on hardcourt anymore, started with no ranking, no money in the bank when making that comeback … literally starting from scratch. You’re telling me someone else is more deserving than Jason Kubler.
“This (nomination) is more about the team behind the scenes and what they have sacrificed to get me back.’’
Kei and Novak are champions of the game and did an incredible job on coming back from injury and putting in amazing performances…
But… Consecutive surgeries, never been inside 100, told he couldn’t play on hardcourt, no money in bank when making a comeback, no money with endorsements coming in while injured..literally starting from scratch. There’s no one out there that deserves it more than Jason Kubler
Results headed by a US Open upset of Roger Federer saw Millman moved from No. 128 to No. 31 this year after his 2017 season was disrupted by groin surgery, which followed on from two shoulder surgeries.
John Millman had a big year too after beating Roger Federer at the US Open.Source:News Corp Australia
Kubler, 25, said the nomination was recognition for the many hours spent pondering how much he wanted a tennis career, which would require hard work and devotion to the sport.
“This nomination means a lot. There has been many tough moments in my career, coming back from so many surgeries has not been easy,’’ he said.
“But I have had a breakthrough year and I am proud of myself and thank all of the people who have stood by me on this road.”
Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios’s season is in doubt after he pulled out of his Moscow second-round match, citing an elbow injury.
It is the same ailment which has afflicted Kyrgios, ranked No. 38, on and off since February, when he missed a month of tournaments after a Davis Cup tie in Brisbane.
Kyrgios and Millman both planned to play two more ATP tournaments before the off-season, although Kyrgios’s immediate future remains uncertain.
Originally published as ‘No one out there deserves it more’
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